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China is expected to invest around CNY250 billion (US$39.5 billion) in domestic solar power generation over a five-year period between 2011 and 2015, according to a development plan released by the National Energy Administration as cited by the China Daily.

As part of China’s recently revised 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-15), the China Daily revealed that China will install 10GW of large-scale PV capacity over the five-year period. It will also add 10GW of distributed PV power generation as well as 1GW of solar light and heat power generation systems, helping to create up to 500,000 jobs in the industry.

China offers great potential for large-scale PV systems with a lot of suitable land for PV development. The Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, the Loess Plateau and the Inner Mongolia Plateau have been identified as suitable areas for the development of large-scale PV projects.

News of this comes amid ongoing trade disputes between China and the EU as well as the US. At the beginning of September the EU announced that it had launched an anti-dumping investigation concerning the imports of Chinese PV modules. However, with a strong focus now on the domestic PV market, hostility against China may weaken as overseas solar companies may start to focus on entering the Chinese market.

China is a major producer of PV products but the majority of the products are for export. In 2010 China accounted for almost 63% or 10GW of total global solar cells production which reached 16GW, the China Daily revealed.

However, the China Daily reported that the majority of installed PV capacity during that year was in Germany, Italy, Spain and Japan. Worldwide, total installed PV capacity reached 40GW in 2010.